Unprecedented times caused by COVID-19 have challenged us to find new ways to stay connected and build community across our teams. While we're adjusting to recent changes, we're also reflecting on some of the special experiences that make Facebook's culture unique, no matter where we're working. In the following post, three team members share their stories of the meaningful connections they’ve built at the Facebook company over the past year.
What does it mean to truly belong somewhere? For three team members at the Facebook company, belonging meant connecting with someone who supported and advocated for them when they needed it the most. And it’s those connections that inspired them to find their own community at Facebook.
From our Facebook Resource Groups and Lean In Circles to mentor programs and interest groups/clubs, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can help employees connect, find support, and build meaningful relationships. Over the years, we’ve seen how this approach has empowered team members to bring their best selves to work. Learn how team members have nurtured connections with one another, which have in turn helped them discover their own strengths.
"She helped me build community and articulate my strengths.”—Alexia M.
Alexia M., Product Designer on the Facebook Reality Labs team, leaned on colleague and 3D artist Kat Y., to build her own community. “Last year, my happiness and health were being affected by stress. I wasn’t working out, and I knew I needed to make a change,” Alexia says. “Kat helped me do things differently. We rallied a group of people to get out, do yoga, and go cycling. Having people to exercise with has had a huge impact on my health and overall happiness.”
Aside from helping her build a community at work, Kat has been a strong source of support for Alexia—whether she’s lending an ear to listen or helping Alexia pinpoint her biggest strengths. “Sometimes you have a superpower, and you don't realize it until someone points it out,” Alexia notes. “Kat helped me pinpoint my strength of building relationships with others. I used to be nervous presenting in front of senior team members. Now, I always remember Kat’s words: ‘You’ve spent a lot of time building a relationship with that person, and they appreciate your opinion. Remember, you are on their level.’ Today, I’m much more confident when speaking with leaders, and I’m able to make a bigger impact because of it.’”
“It’s important that there are people like Kat here at Facebook,” Alexia continues. “She’s really dedicated to excelling at her work, but she also brings people together and creates these micro-communities that enhance Facebook’s culture.”
Alexia (left) and Kat (top right)
"When I couldn’t be a great advocate for myself, she was there to help lift me up.” —Keanna H.
Everyone encounters roadblocks along their career path. For Keanna H., a Program Manager for University Recruiting, this happened in early 2017. “I was at a low point in my career and unable to see my potential or worth,” she remembers. After several months of feeling helpless, she finally decided to talk to her manager, Jill D., about leaving the company. “Jill said ‘I’d rather see you in another role at Facebook than let you leave the company,’” Keanna recalls. “She believed in me, and she didn’t want to see me leave because I felt imposter syndrome.”
Keanna’s conversation with Jill empowered her to make changes. “I vividly remember setting up an hour with her to talk more about my aspirations, goals, and where I saw myself next,” Keanna shares. “Before our exercise, she told me that she can’t want this for me, nor can she do the work for me. It was my responsibility to find the opportunities, but it was hers to support me. And it was our job to get me there together.“
By helping her identify her strengths, where she could grow, and her interests, Jill helped Keanna transition into the role she is in today. “She didn’t take ownership, but she showed me that I had to be the driving force in my career,” Keanna says.
Jill (center) and Keanna (right) with team member at a past holiday gathering.
"He inspired my sense of self and made me feel heard.” —Malik M.
For Malik M., Product Marketing Manager, finding a mentor in Pash O. was a defining moment early on in his career. He attributes a large part of his sense of community and fulfillment at Facebook to this connection.
“Coming from a unique background in fashion, it was inspiring to meet someone like Pash who looked like me, had similar interests, and was thriving in his career,” Malik shares. “He made me feel like I deserve to be here, and that there’s a space for me at Facebook.”
From negotiation and career growth to workplace challenges and development, Pash, an Integrated Marketing Manager, helped Malik work through a lot of the questions people have early on in their careers. The biggest thing Malik learned was the concept of self-worth. “My conversations with Pash gave me tangible knowledge, and he also helped me understand my value. This was huge, and it wasn’t something he just gave me, but our entire circle of product marketing managers at Facebook as well. Knowing my self worth has empowered me to make a greater impact at work.”
Malik (right) and Pash (left) catching up on a video call.
These three stories are just some of the incredible connections people have formed while working at the Facebook company, and they help define our company culture. They unite our teams and shape how we work to bring the world closer together. We hope you'll join us and build your community here.